Friday, July 11, 2008

The French Connection

Last night I became a vainqueur de la Bastille, completing the 5K Fun Run in 31 minutes and 17 seconds. Not my best time, but I made the mistake of getting caught in the fast pace of the front-runners, which messed up my game for the rest of the race. I also had to stop in the Third Ward for a glass of beer, as the bartenders promised it would take two minutes off my time. They were wrong.

I also want it duly noted that it took us a few minutes to actually start running once the race started, and the running abruptly stopped a few blocks before the end as the thousands of racers had to again be bottlenecked through the gate. Thus, I could fairly subtract five minutes, if not more, from my time for all of this waiting. That’s just me nitpicking.

MJ, her two friends, and I then proceeded to spend the next hour milling through the crowd of thousands in Cathedral Square Park trying to find each other. I, at the end of my proverbial rope, made a last ditch effort and finally found her at the Alliance beignet stand, and much rejoicing commenced.

Being French speakers with connections at the Alliance, we met up with a trio of “Frenchies” and took them out on the town for an authentic Milwaukee experience. After all, Bastille Days closes at 11:00 p.m. and nowhere does it say the fun has to stop when the police street barricades come down.

Margaritas at Bar Louie ensued, along with a game of beanbag toss, French conversation, and flirting with good-looking men around the campfire. Yes, Bar Louie has a campfire.

All in all, it was a super first 5K experience.

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